Our Team

Service Year Alliance staff derives from all types of backgrounds uniting under a common mission. We are proud to hire service year alums who are dedicated to expanding opportunities for young people to serve long after their own service year has ended. Together, 26 members of our staff have completed 40 total service years where they addressed pressing issues in local communities. Our staff embodies our slogan: A Better You. A Greater Us.


Kara Neel
Associate, Corps Members & Alums
Kelsey Gerber
Program Associate
Sheden Alsaaty
Director, Development
Alaina Pitt
Associate, Business Development & Operations
Kara Neel | Associate, Corps Members & Alums


As the Associate of Corps Members and Alums, Kara works to support and engage currently serving members while fostering relationships with service year alumni to advance the organization's mission. 

Kara graduated with a degree in Public Affairs and Community Service from the University of North Texas. She is a Habitat for Humanity/Americorps Alum. During her time with Habitat she developed skills in construction, volunteer management and event planning. Most recently Kara was serving with Habitat's Government Relations and Advocacy team in D.C. to engage the organization in policy and systems change surrounding housing affordability.  

Kara comes to Service Year Alliance with enthusiasm for service programs and hopes she can contribute to a culture where a year of service is a common expectation for all Americans. When she is not working Kara enjoys hiking, gardening, relationship building and of course, volunteering in her community!

Kelsey Gerber | Program Associate

As Service Year’s Program Associate, Kelsey supports a number of organizational initiatives and programs that help to recruit new Corps members, create opportunities to serve, and develop resources. 

Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, Kelsey worked at the Council on Foundations managing virtual convenings, supporting the Career Pathways program, and otherwise assisting in the development of events for grantmakers.

With a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Classical Studies from Gettysburg College and a master’s degree from American University in Public Anthropology with a focus in archaeology, Kelsey is passionate about helping to empower people through engaging with history and culture. She also worked her way through college as a scenic carpenter for local theaters, and continues to use those skills to renovate her house in Maryland. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys board and tabletop games, hanging out with her husband and cat, and traveling.

Sheden Alsaaty | Director, Development


As the Director of Development, Sheden focuses on building partnerships  and securing funding to advance the organization's mission. 

Sheden spent the majority of her career in International Development where she designed and implemented programs benefiting marginalized populations - with an emphasis on women and youth. After transitioning into the Philanthropic sector, Sheden most recently served as the Director of Development at the Council on Foundations. 

Sheden graduated with a degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from George Mason University. She enjoys road trips, baking, and has a passion for skin care. 

Alaina Pitt | Associate, Business Development & Operations


Alaina serves as Associate, Business Development and Operations, at Service Year Alliance.

From 2012 to 2014, Alaina served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the City of Winooski, Vermont, building their fundraising and volunteer operations and managing the community garden program. Following her service, Alaina worked at Welcoming America supporting fundraising and communications. Most recently, Alaina worked for Beauvoir, The National Cathedral Elementary School.

Alaina is from New Hampshire and graduated from St. Michael's College with a Bachelor of Arts in French. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching barre classes, exploring the DC restaurant scene, and spending time with her husband and two cats.

Kevin Boyer
Associate, Policy
Sandy Keith
Chief Business Development Officer
Nic Hill
Business Development Manager
Taimarie Adams
Managing Director, Government Relations
Kevin Boyer | Associate, Policy

Kevin Boyer serves as Policy Research Associate at Service Year Alliance, where he conducts legislative outreach and gathers evidence about the impact of service year opportunities on corps members and communities.
Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, his work focused on social entrepreneurship, innovative financing, and public-private partnerships. He completed his service year through AmeriCorps in Virginia, where he provided microfinance services to low-income and minority entrepreneurs. Kevin has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Foreign Affairs and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Virginia, where he was a Tri-sector Leadership Fellow.
In his spare time, Kevin designs and develops websites with his sister. He enjoys diving, cooking, and hiking in Virginia's parks.

Sandy Keith | Chief Business Development Officer

In 2006, Sandy graduated from the University of Maryland College Park and began working in the nonprofit sector. He completed a service year as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at Jumpstart for Young Children, working to build their regional fundraising efforts. After serving his term, he spent 6 more years at Jumpstart in various fundraising roles out of their Washington, DC office. Most recently, Sandy served as the Director of Development at Council for a Strong America, a public policy organization working to improve America's public safety, national security, and economic growth through research-based investments in children.

Today, Sandy serves as Chief Business Development Officer, building funding partnerships that help fuel Service Year Alliance's ambitious strategic plan. In his spare time, Sandy enjoys Brazilian jiu-jitsu, hiking, and brunch. Especially brunch.

Nic Hill | Business Development Manager

As Business Development Manager for Service Year Alliance, Nic focuses on building corporate partnerships that enhance the service year experience of corps members.  

Nic started her journey in national service as a Team Leader for AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) in Denver, CO.  After graduating NCCC she joined the Development team at Teach For America - D.C. and then served as a Civic Engagement Program Manager for City Year New York. Most recently, Nic worked for DC Public Schools in their School Partnerships Division.

Nic is from Virginia Beach, VA and graduated from George Mason University with a B.A. in Communications.  She loves podcasts, classic cinema, and very long walking explorations of D.C.

Taimarie Adams | Managing Director, Government Relations


Taimarie Adams serves as Director, Government Relations at Service Year Alliance. She has more than seven years of legislative affairs experience managing education policy at the local, state, and federal levels. Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, Taimarie worked with the Association of Community College Trustees, an organization that promotes high-quality and affordable higher education, student success, and the opportunity for all individuals to achieve economic self-sufficiency. In her free time, she enjoys taking cooking classes, spinning at the best cycle studio in the DC metro area, and training for her first half marathon. She also loves spending time with her sweet rescue dog and avoiding confrontations with her not-so-sweet rescue cat.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Speech Communications from the Pennsylvania State University and her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

Brooke Bohnet
Director, Program Development
Dennis Elwell
User Engagement Associate, Service Year Exchange
Thorsten Ruehlemann
Chief Marketing Officer
Bryan Hall
Director, Organizational Learning
Brooke Bohnet | Director, Program Development


As a member of Service Year Alliance’s growth team, Brooke works with organizations to develop strategies to replicate, scale, and develop new service year models. The growth team is striving to increase the number of service year opportunities to 100,000 annually by 2019 and one million within a generation.

Brooke is passionate about advancing opportunity in communities and bringing people together through cross-sector collaboration and program development. Previously she spent five years at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where she launched the Promise Zone initiative, bringing more than 13 federal agencies together with local leaders to address priorities in 22 urban, rural and tribal high-poverty communities. Her work was recognized as a 2017 NextGen Courageous Champion finalist.

Brooke did her service year through Teach for America in Baltimore, teaching middle school social studies for two years. After working on Sherrod Brown’s Senate campaign in Ohio, she then managed the Call to Serve college-federal agency network at the Partnership for Public Service from 2007-2012.

An Arizona native and first-generation American, Brooke holds a BA in political science and psychology from Scripps College, a MA in teaching from Johns Hopkins University and a MPA in collaborative management and urban sustainability from George Washington University.

In her free time, Brooke loves to explore the city on bike with her husband and two-year old daughter, traveling to new places and getting dirty gardening. Her goal is to end her career in the Peace Corps.

Dennis Elwell | User Engagement Associate, Service Year Exchange


Dennis serves as the User Engagement Associate for the Service Year Exchange, where he helps people navigate ServiceYear.org and find service year opportunities that fit their skills and interests.  

Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, Dennis completed a total of three years of AmeriCorps service: one year with VISTA, as a lender to small businesses in New Jersey damaged by Hurricane Sandy, and two years with City Year Philadelphia, as an academic coach and Team Leader in a K-8 school in South Philly. During his time with City Year, he directed an afterschool sports club, coordinated large-scale school mural painting projects, created a social media campaign and represented Philadelphia’s Corps on the national Dean’s Council.

Dennis graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The College of New Jersey. As a student at TCNJ, he regularly volunteered as an afterschool tutor to kids through a non-profit called Homefront, and he helped rebuild storm-damaged New Orleans homes as part of TCNJ’s Alternative Break Club. Based in Washington, D.C., Dennis enjoys visiting the national monuments and exploring the city.

Thorsten Ruehlemann | Chief Marketing Officer


Thorsten serves as Service Year Alliance’s Chief Marketing Officer.  He did his service year in Germany providing elderly care.

Prior to Service Year Alliance, he was Worldwide Managing Partner at Ogilvy & Mather, serving Blue Chip companies like Allianz, DuPont, Philips, Siemens and Zurich. Before that he was VP Digital at Unit 7 in New York and worked for BBDO Proximity on accounts like Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Coca Cola, Nike, Pfizer, Porsche and Volvo. Thorsten is a trained lifeguard and earned his Masters in Political Science. Thorsten loves to beat traffic in Washington DC biking to work. He’s a fan of the German Soccer team Borussia Moenchengladbach. As you might have figured out by now – he also loves the “umlaut”.

Bryan Hall | Director, Organizational Learning


As Bryan Hall - Director, Organizational Learning, Bryan works across Service Year Alliance (SYA) with current and potential host organizations to create best practice resources to support institutes as they build new or scale programs. All SYA resources help organizations and communities towards demonstrating how service years at scale can help repair broken cities, uplift and educate children at risk, and empower communities struggling with poverty.

Bryan has over 15 years in the nonprofit sector working previously at U.S. Green Building Council, Sunlight Foundation, and United Way Worldwide before coming to Service Year Alliance. In all his positions, Bryan works to increase organization effectiveness through ongoing feedback loops and building positive, collaborative teams to tackle hard issues. Bryan holds a BA from Clark University and a MS in Organization Development from American University.

Bryan is a Peace Corps alumni, having served in Armenia 2009-2012 as a Community & Business Development volunteer. He believes in the power of people coming together to solve community and world problems through active listening and compassion for one another’s’ stories. Bryan loves traveling the globe observing and interacting with differences and similarities across cultures. He also is an active runner, biker, and outdoor enthusiast. His favorite quote is “It always seems impossible until it's done (Nelson Mandela).”

Jennifer Moss
Technology Project Manager
Floyd Sartin
Director of Human Resources
Raabia Budhwani
Director of Place-Based Growth
Henry Mackintosh
Director, Customer Data and Optimization
Jennifer Moss | Technology Project Manager

As the Technology Project Manager, Jennifer works on a wide variety of technology related projects, primarily focusing on the day-to-day management of both the development and operation of ServiceYear.org as well as the assessment, introduction and/or integration of other platforms as needed to fulfill our mission.

Previously, Jennifer managed IT projects and built business intelligence practice areas for various federal agencies with a focus on agile development. She has managed the development of several enterprise data warehouses, data analytics tools and dashboards, and has hands-on experience as a technical developer and data architect.

Jennifer graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA with a B.B.A. in Finance. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and traveling. When not at work, Jennifer can usually be found walking her dog, Panda, in and around Capitol Hill or trying out the city's latest new restaurant. 

Floyd Sartin | Director of Human Resources


Floyd Sartin, Director of Human Resources at Service Year Alliance, is a seasoned Human Resources professional with experience leading strategic business initiatives. Floyd is responsible for managing and implementing HR functions, which include talent acquisition, benefit administration, on-boarding, human capital, and employee relations.

Prior to Service Year Alliance, Floyd was the Human Resources Manager at The Washington Home & Community Hospices where he successfully streamlined their HR functionality into a paperless environment, enhancing performance management, and cultivating a dynamic culture within the organization.

Floyd is originally from Detroit, MI, and has a MBA in Human Resources Management from Walden University and a B.A. in Organizational Communication from Western Michigan University.

Outside of practicing human resources, Floyd is a coffee roaster entrepreneur, enjoys spending quality time with his wife and young son, and watching any sports program that’s on the television.  

Raabia Budhwani | Director of Place-Based Growth


As Director of Place Based Growth, Raabia works with local leaders across the country to lead our strategy of demonstrating how service years at scale can help repair broken cities, uplift and educate children at risk, and empower communities struggling with poverty.

Previously, Raabia facilitated international and philanthropic partnerships at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and led a federal interagency team to pilot the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative engagement in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia. A groundbreaking place-based initiative, SC2 works to better align federal policy and resources with committed city leaders as they implement locally driven economic visions.

Prior to joining SC2, Raabia built partnerships and advanced economic policy to spur entrepreneurship and job creation in Africa and the Middle East at the U.S. Department of State. Before joining the federal government, Raabia consulted for local governments, federal agencies, social enterprises, and international organizations on strategic planning, service and organizational design, and urban development.

Raabia earned dual Master’s degrees in urban planning and public administration from the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy, and her B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics from Emory University. Raabia proudly served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, as an AmeriCorps member in Atlanta, and is a NextCity Vanguard.

Henry Mackintosh | Director, Customer Data and Optimization


Henry is the Associate Director, Customer Data and Optimization. He’s helping Service Year Alliance make data-informed decisions, and measuring and optimizing the Service Year recruitment initiatives to movement building activities in the field.

Henry was previously Communications Manager at SolarCity, the largest solar energy services provider in the US. Prior to SolarCity, he worked on various projects for organizations including Avaaz, TaskRabbit and CODEPINK.

Henry’s previously held roles in software, nonprofit, and political organizations. He worked as a field organizer in Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012 and subsequently as a senior organizer for NationBuilder - a community organizing software company. A dual US/British citizen, he’s also worked in the UK volunteering sector.

Between school and university, he served as a volunteer English teacher in rural Peru. He holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Edinburgh.

In his free time, Henry likes to ride bikes, travel, and go camping.

MacKenzie Moritz
Chief of Staff and Chief Partnerships Officer
Laura Thompson
Director, Strategic Engagement
Cali Moore
Manager, Career & Education Pathways
Lauryn DuValle
Associate, Growth
MacKenzie Moritz | Chief of Staff and Chief Partnerships Officer


MacKenzie serves as Service Year Alliance’s chief of staff and also has the privilege of leading the partnerships, growth, value proposition, knowledge sharing, and leadership engagement teams. His passion for national service stems from his experience as a 2006 Teach For America (TFA) corps member and his experience working on TFA’s staff. As the managing director of TFA’s national recruitment strategy and technology team during the organization’s most successful recruitment seasons in TFA’s history, MacKenzie saw first hand the potential for young people to come together to improve society -- as well as the large number of young people eager to serve, but unable to find an opportunity to do so. MacKenzie earned undergraduate degrees in Economics and Political Science from the University of Florida and a masters degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he is a graduate of various fellowship programs, including the Montpelier Summit for Emerging Millennial Leaders, the State Department/RISD Human Centered Design & Public Policy Institute, the AEI Leadership Network, and is a member of the NationSwell Council and the Armed Services Arts Partnership Advisory Council. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Melissa

Laura Thompson | Director, Strategic Engagement


Laura Thompson is Director, Strategic Engagement at Service Year Alliance.  In this role, Laura is responsible for building the service movement from the ground-up by recruiting, training, and mobilizing teams of grassroots and grasstops leaders across the northeast to take action around core advocacy and recruitment campaigns. Previously, Laura worked with Vital Voices, an organization that builds the capacity of women extraordinary women around the world as leaders in their communities. At Vital Voices she managed a fellowship program of 300+ women and led a research initiative to measure their global impact. Laura holds her M.A. in International Education and is fluent in Spanish.

Cali Moore | Manager, Career & Education Pathways


Cali Moore works to increase the value proposition of serving and to build a network of knowledge-sharing as the Associate, Learning. Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, she served as the 2015 Eli J. Segal Fellow at the Corporation for National and Community Service, where she spent a year working on special projects to support the agency’s many initiatives and programs. 

Cali was born and raised in Vermont and starting volunteering at a young age. Her community service background led her to Ohio Wesleyan University, where she graduated in 2013 with majors in Sociology and Politics & Government. After graduating, she worked as the Post-Graduate Intern for Community Service Learning where she matched college students with community service opportunities and managed a tutoring program. She then moved to DC to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Horton’s Kids, where she worked with the K-6 tutoring program and created cooking and gardening classes on the weekends to support food security and healthy habits. Cali loves life DC and tries to take advantage of all the events, museums, food trucks, and other perks of living in the city. She is addicted to coffee and attempts to copy recipes she sees on cooking shows

Lauryn DuValle | Associate, Growth


Lauryn Imann DuValle is a native Tennessean who has served two years as both an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) and VISTA Leader at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, at the North Mississippi VISTA Project, managing the largest AmeriCorps VISTA site in the state. She helped develop service learning and sustainable volunteering opportunities ranging from cultural inclusion programming, college accessibility, early childhood development, and health awareness initiatives. She also played an active role in establishing the largest annual University road trip to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute where she encouraged School of Education students to explore the historical and racial implications of segregated teaching in the Deep South.

Most notably, in 2011, as a cinema/documentary student at the University of Mississippi, Lauryn was selected by MTV Productions to assist Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, TN, compete in the White House’s Race To The Top Commencement Challenge. To enter the competition, Lauryn worked with MTV to produce a film which chronicled the students' tremendous academic achievements while overcoming adversities. Of the numerous entries submitted from across the nation,the film was selected as the winner by the President of the United States Barack Obama. As a result, the graduating class at Booker T. Washington High School was honored with the 2011 commencement address delivered by President Obama--His first trip to Memphis as President of the United States. Shortly thereafter, Lauryn (An alumna of Grambling State University, LA) received the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Media Advocacy INC. award for Female Alumnus of the Year.

These diverse experiences helped reinforce her dedication and commitment to nonprofit and policy sectors. In addition, it has bolstered her enthusiasm for community relations and outreach. She received a BA in History from Grambling State University, LA, a minor in Cinema/ Documentary at the University of Mississippi,MS, and pursued graduate studies in policy at New York University, NY.

Yasmeen Shaheen-McConnell
Managing Director, Strategic Engagement
Diane Ty
Senior Advisor
Shirley Sagawa
Rosa Moreno
Chief Program Officer
Yasmeen Shaheen-McConnell | Managing Director, Strategic Engagement


As Managing Director of Strategic Engagement, Yasmeen focuses on keeping champions of service invested in the work of the Service Year Alliance, and attracting and retaining new leaders committed to our mission and aligned with our work. Yasmeen is a proud AmeriCorps alumna, and served in 2008 with the Arab American Resource Corps in a community support and cultural resource position before becoming a supervisor for future members. She came to Service Year Alliance from the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute, where she designed and ran a fellowship program after directing the relaunch of the service year movement at the Summit at Gettysburg. Yasmeen was a business development consultant with News Deeply, a new media and technology startup, and previously managed programs at the Arab American Institute, where she oversaw youth and advocacy efforts, fundraising galas, leadership summits, and the Arab American Census Information Center. Yasmeen earned a master’s degree in Religion, Ethics and Politics from Harvard Divinity School and her B.A. in International Affairs and Anthropology from the George Washington University.

Diane Ty | Senior Advisor


Diane is an independent marketing consultant with a track record of product, service and program innovation in the nonprofit, corporate and government sectors. She serves as Senior Advisor to Service Year Alliance on projects ranging from the organization’s new branding, consumer research, earned income strategy, content production, grant writing, and new service corps development. She works with Georgetown University’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative, a consulting arm of the McDonough School of Business that forges cross sector solutions to pressing social issues. Other clients include a Silicon Valley-based technology company and other nonprofits. Diane has held senior level positions at AARP, Save the Children, and American Express. Her work has been recognized with a Gold-level IDEA award for design strategy (AARP); an Emmy nomination for Save the Children’s (STC) Ad Council campaign “Do Good: Mentor a Child”; and The Cable and Wireless Childnet award (STC). Diane has degrees from Duke University (BA) and The University of Pennsylvania (MBA-Wharton/MA) where she was a fellow at the Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies. For fun, Diane is an avid runner, singer, and chauffeur and sports spectator to her three kids who she loves raising in Bethesda, MD with her husband, Dan Connors.

Shirley Sagawa | CEO


Shirley Sagawa is Service Year Alliance’s CEO and founder of the Service Year Exchange, the technology platform for full-time, full-year service now run by Service Year Alliance. Prior to becoming founding CEO of Service Year Alliance, she developed social innovation policy, authored reports, and advised national organizations and foundations on strategy as a partner with sagawa/jospin. Shirley served as a presidential appointee in both the first Bush and Clinton administrations. She was First Lady Hillary Clinton’s first policy assistant and later deputy chief of staff. She drafted the AmeriCorps legislation and helped lead the start up of the Corporation for National and Community Service for President Bill Clinton. For President George H. W. Bush, she helped to start and served as vice chair of the Commission on National and Community Service. A visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and adjunct faculty at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown, Shirley is author of three books, including The American Way to Change. For fun, she plays tennis, designs jewelry and collage, travels, and spends time with her husband, Greg Baer, and three (almost) adult sons.

Rosa Moreno | Chief Program Officer


Rosa Moreno is the Chief Program Officer at Service Year Alliance, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC that works to make a year of service a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans to solve important problems while transforming their own lives. In this role, she is responsible for providing strategic direction, management, and coordination for programs and services which include a state-of-the-art market place and resource hub, building more equitable and inclusive service opportunities, support for corps member experience during and after their service, growing and improving existing programs, helping to create new ones, and inspiring and equipping communities to chamption service as an effective strategy at the local level. She serves as a member of the senior management team helping to set strategic direction for the organization.

Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, Rosa was Senior Advisor for Partnerships and Advancement at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) where she worked on efforts to support the expansion of national service through public and private partnerships. Rosa joined CNCS in 2010 as Deputy Director of AmeriCorps, a program that supports and places over 70,000 individuals in results-driven community service in communities in every state.

Prior to coming to Washington, D.C., she served as Vice President of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility with the OneStar Foundation in Austin, Texas. Rosa is a proud AmeriCorps Alumnus and serves on the national board of The Corps Network.

Jennifer Bagaglio
Chief Operations Officer
Jonas Kane
Associate Director, Certification
Erin Finucane
Chief Policy & Advocacy Officer
Aly Ferguson
Director, Communications
Jennifer Bagaglio | Chief Operations Officer


Jennifer Bagaglio serves as the Chief Operating Officer. In this position, Jen works closely with the entire team to handle budget development and reporting, human resources, strategic planning, Board relations, meeting and event planning, as well as other organizational support tasks. This is an evolution of Jen’s previous role as Operations Director with NCoC.

Prior to joining the NCoC team, Jen spent four years working at DC Vote to end taxation without representation in our nation’s capital. She worked there as the Public Affairs Manager. In that capacity, she worked on community engagement, coalition building strategies and managed the volunteer program. At times she was also responsible for the development and communications tasks in the office.

Jen is a New Englander at heart. She grew up in Massachusetts and attended the University of Vermont for her undergraduate degree. She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration on social movement theory and political activism and civic engagement in the nonprofit sector.

In her free time she enjoys attending SoulCycle classes and finding new books for her book club to read.

Jonas Kane | Associate Director, Certification


Jonas manages the certification process for the Service Year Exchange. His work on the Service Year Exchange also includes developing resources, supporting partnerships, and creating and implementing communications and customer support strategies. Jonas’ belief in the power of service years is tied to his firsthand experiences, which began when he served as a corps member with City Year Philadelphia in 2010. He served a second year with City Year as a Diplomas Now Team Leader, before going on to teach at Baltimore City Public Schools as a 2012 member of Teach for America.

Prior to joining NCoC, Jonas worked in public education as a member of both Teach for America and City Year. He created and taught original units and lessons as a middle school English teacher for Baltimore City Public Schools. While teaching, he earned a Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University.

As a Diplomas Now Team Leader with City Year, Jonas coordinated a team of AmeriCorps members in providing strategic interventions and whole school programming to middle school students in Philadelphia. In this role, he also managed school partnerships, tracked and utilized data to advance student achievement, led trainings for corps members, and facilitated feedback from over 230 AmeriCorps members by administering a site-wide corps council.

Jonas graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science from Villanova University. During his time at Villanova, he was a columnist for The Villanovan and also served as a teaching assistant. Outside of work, he enjoys running, hiking, cooking new dishes, and finding new music to add to his record collection.
He currently lives in Washington, DC.

Erin Finucane | Chief Policy & Advocacy Officer


Erin Finucane, Chief Policy & Advocacy Officer at Service Year Alliance, is a seasoned campaign strategist with a strong record of building diverse, people-powered movements across a variety of domestic and international issues. Prior to joining Service Year Alliance, she was the Global Campaign Director at Global Zero where she managed international advocacy, creative campaigns, and public mobilization. She spent three years with The ONE Campaign, including a year-long stint in Brussels as Campaign Manager where she launched ONE’s inaugural EU public mobilization effort, successfully protecting investments in development aid despite an overall budget reduction for the first time in history. Erin has a master’s degree in international peace studies from Trinity College Dublin and a bachelor’s degree in political science from La Salle University. In addition to movement-builder, she also identifies as a struggling filmmaker, vegetarian gourmand, and retired track and field athlete.

Aly Ferguson | Director, Communications


Aly is the Director, Communications at Service Year Alliance where she manages media relations, messaging, social media, and advocacy communications. Aly previously was the Communications Manager at ServiceNation. She came to ServiceNation from The Incite Agency where she worked with public affairs and advocacy clients and managed the firm's administrative responsibilities and research. Aly was the assistant to Robert Gibbs, former White House Press Secretary, as well as Ben LaBolt, 2012 Press Secretary for President Obama's reelection campaign.

Prior to joining The Incite Agency, Aly handled press in the U.S. Senate for Mo Cowan (D-MA) during his interim term in the U.S. Senate and continued working in that capacity as a press advisor as Sen. Cowan transitioned to private life. Previously, Aly worked on client projects at ASGK Public Strategies and fundraised for Joe Kennedy III and Alan Khazei on their respective House and Senate campaigns in Massachusetts.

She offers experience in nonprofit, public sector, and private sector communications, as well as political campaigns and development strategy. Aly holds a degree in Communication from the University of Southern California's Annenberg School. She lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, enjoys skiing, boxing, and hanging out with her husband, puppy, cat, and tortoise.

Monique Ellington
Director, Equity & Community Strategy
Cameron Blossom
Associate Director, Marketing
Kristen Bennett
Managing Director, Service Year Exchange
Monique Ellington | Director, Equity & Community Strategy


Monique Ellington is skilled, multifaceted leader with a strong record of helping individuals achieve their full potential by creating new opportunities and overcoming barriers to success. Monique has extensive experience in workforce development, program development, individual empowerment and development.

She is the Chicago Director of Service Year Alliance, where she strives to make a service year a common opportunity for every young person in the city. Monique is fervently working to address social make a service problems and injustices in Chicago by connecting opportunity youth to new and existing opportunities and overcoming challenges that impact communities through service year opportunities. Previously, Monique served as the Training Development Manager for Greencorps Chicago, a city of Chicago program to assist individuals in gaining technical and professional skills while simultaneously overcoming multiple barriers to success.

Prior to joining Greencorps Chicago, Monique worked Safer Foundation, an organization to assist individuals with criminal records, and Haymarket Center, a comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment facility, where she connected individuals to career opportunities. Monique graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University where she majored in English Literature and minored in Black World Studies. While in college, she implemented a service program teaching arts and crafts and mentoring children in the Delaware, OH community.

In her spare time, Monique enjoys spending time with children and youth and exposing them to dance, music, history and poetry.

Cameron Blossom | Associate Director, Marketing


Cameron manages the implementation of Service Year Alliance's brand in the outside world through the website, video, photos, and design. He also contributes to recruitment for the Service Year Exchange and email marketing to all of our audiences.

Prior to Service Year Alliance, he served as Communications Associate for the National Conference on Citizenship, managing communications efforts for the national Civic Health Initiatives and Annual Conference on Citizenship. After graduating college, he worked as the Coordinator for the Action Research Center at Illinois Wesleyan University, which serves as the hub for university and community engagement by maintaining partnerships with over 40 local non-profits. Cameron also served on the Board of Directors for the West Bloomington Revitalization Project, a grass-roots community development organization in the low-income community of West Bloomington, IL for 3 years. For his service to the community, Cameron was awarded McLean County’s 25 Community Leaders under the age of 25, as well as Illinois Wesleyan University’s Distinguished Service Award for the class of 2013.

In his free time, Cameron enjoys playing acoustic guitar, biking, and performing stand-up comedy.

Kristen Bennett | Managing Director, Service Year Exchange


As Managing Director of the Service Year Exchange, Kristen is responsible for the development and implementation of the Exchange, which includes leading certification and both customer support and engagement. This is an evolution of Kristen’s previous role as Service Year Director with NCoC

Prior to working on the Exchange, Kristen served as an AmeriCorps Program Officer with California Volunteers, the state service commission. In this capacity, she evaluated AmeriCorps grant applications, contributed to the development of Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps programs, and trained, assessed, and monitored an $8.5 million portfolio of programs. During this time, she guided, coached, and advised well over thirty programs across California to maximize their community impact while maintaining compliance.

Kristen is also a proud AmeriCorps VISTA alum. As a VISTA, Kristen served on California First Lady Maria Shriver’s WE Connect campaign, connecting low-income families with valuable programs and resources to become more financially secure. While serving, Kristen built crucial community partnerships, trained and managed volunteers, and planned and implemented large-scale community events during tax season.

Kristen earned a Bachelor of Science in Planning, Public Policy, and Management from the University of Oregon and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from California State University, Sacramento.

Our Team
Our Team
Together we have the potential to make a #serviceyear a common expectation and opportunity for all